No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. – 1 Corinthians 9:27
Temptation comes in many forms, but the source is always the same. No, the Devil did not “make” you do it. The origin is “the flesh,” meaning that part of the Christ-follower that still yields to old patterns that existed before conversion. How can we know it is the flesh at work? Cognitively, it goes like this:
I am worried, so I will (substitute activity that feels good, but is not beneficial).
Or, things are not going as planned, so I will (same answer).
Basically, any time we consider running away from the Lord (and His truth) and turning toward the world and its lies, we are being “tempted.”
This is why these words from Paul are so convicting. Our bodies should be “slaves” of Christ in the same way that our minds and hearts are. This, of course, extends to the maintenance of our health, which is often ignored. There should be no acceptable “sin” for the servant in God’s Kingdom, including poor stewardship of our physical bodies. In order to maintain a consistent witness as disciples, we must “get a grip.” We must be able to go and make disciples with stamina because we manage the vessel God has given us.
Our “earth suits” are not designed to last forever, but as much as it depends on each of us, may we manage them well until they are glorified.
The world asks, “What does a man own?” Christ asks, “How does he use it?” – Andrew Murray